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For Immediate Release:
Contact: Mario H. Lopez
(301) 457-5080

Community Programs & Commitment Insure Accurate Count

SAN DIEGO – The members of the bipartisan U.S. Census Monitoring Board today heard local officials and community leaders detail their efforts to ensure greater census participation among the large and diverse population in the San Diego region.  Their comments came during a public hearing held by the Board to gather information on innovative programs and activities that improved the local census count.

Testimony from the San Diego hearing will be used in a future report to Congress by the Board, which was established by Congress in 1997 to monitor the preparation and implementation of the 2000 decennial census.  The Board is comprised of eight members – four appointed by Congress and four by the President.

The hearing was held at the offices of the San Diego Association of Governments.  It featured presentations by a variety of officials representing local governments and community-based organizations involved in Census 2000 activities in the San Diego region.

“San Diego provides an excellent example of local officials and community leaders working together to meet the challenges of counting a large and diverse population,” said J. Kenneth Blackwell, Co-Chair for the Congressional Members of the Board.  “The innovative programs and activities implemented here can serve as a model for other communities throughout the country for the next census."

“These hearings affirm the importance of community partnerships to a successful census effort,” said Gilbert F. Casellas, Co-Chair for the Presidential Members of the Board.  “Both the state of California and the local communities in San Diego made firm commitments to a successful census, and their efforts appear to have paid off.”

Those making presentations at Tuesday’s hearings included: the Honorable Pam Slater, San Diego County Board of Supervisors; the Honorable Art Madrid, Chairman, San Diego Association of Governments and Mayor, City of La Mesa; Joey Perry, City of San Diego; and Karen Lamphere, Senior Planner and Census Coordinator, San Diego Association of Governments.

Other presenters included: Augie Bareno, Coordinator, California Chicano Federation QAC Project; Jeri Gulbransen, Pubic Information Officer, City of Chula Vista; Tania Farley, Union of Pan-Asian Communities; Peter Martinez, Detective, Gang Suppression Unit, Imperial Beach Sheriff’s Station; Grover Diemert, Executive Director, Bayside Settlement House; and William Rowel, Coordinator, California Black Health Network Census 2000 Project.